Wednesday 25 June 2014

David Lazarus let go after 30 years at the Canadian Jewish News

Journalism can be a lousy business. A year ago at this time the Canadian Jewish News  had just staved off closure.Folks I know in the Montreal office breathed a huge sigh of relief, especially veteran reporters Janice Arnold and David Lazarus.
At the head office in Toronto, a young new editor named Yoni Goldstein was hired and the look of the paper got an attractive facelift. However, over the last few months it was clear to readers here that there was far less Montreal content than before. I worried for my friends Janice and David.
David Lazarus
Well on Friday June 13 (yes Friday the 13th) David Lazarus was given his dreaded pink slip after 30 years on the job. "I am not taking it personally; it was all part of the ongoing 're-structuring' at the paper," David shared with me. "A day earlier Jeff Rosen in Toronto was also let go after 30 years in editorial. The only catch is that there now is only one full time English language reporter in Montreal in Janice, so she has to handle everything all by herself."
On his 30 years with the paper, he notes, "I have been writing and covering every imaginable sort of Jewish community story: hard news, features, sports, human interest, obituaries, analytical comment, community event publicity and coverage, tribute dinners and annual meetings. I have travelled to Israel, the U.S., Mexico, and elsewhere, most recently in November, 2012 to Ben-Gurion University for a series of articles." 
David Lazarus is an incredibly gifted writer and I hope he winds up working somewhere again soon, either in journalism or public relations.

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Eggspectation serving up all-day breakfast at its new Ruby Foo's location

A few months ago I lamented on these pages how Montreal simply did not have enough restaurants  serving all-day breakfast. We may never relive the days of Picasso on St. Jacques, which served eggs, French toast and pancakes 24 hours a day. Regrettably, the likes of Denny's or IHOP are not coming to Quebec anytime soon. So, we search high and low and find places like Chez Nick on Greene Avenue in Westmount which will accommodate you through the early evening and Club Sandwich way out on St. Catherine Street East.
Enzo Renda and  Joseph Mendel.

Well three cheers for  Enzo Renda and Joseph Mendel for putting their heads together and bringing the hugely successful Eggspectation to the West End of Montreal. Renda is the CEO of Eggspectation, which has its foothold now in Canada, the United States, India and Dubai. Mendel is the managing partner of the Ruby Foo's property on Decarie Boulevard. They own the hotel, the adjoining building which houses a beauty parlor and a Jenny Craig locale and a corporate office building on the other side of the parking lot.

One of the many dishes served up at Eggspectation.
Eggspectation is the successor to Mahjongg Bistro de Chine, which closed a short while ago. It is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and business is doing well following a soft opening. When I sat down with Renda and Mendel last week, my order came in five minutes: a delicious plate of eggs over easy, roasted potatoes and toast.  A big sign right at the edge of the parking lot on Decarie is coming. Renda is personally involved in this operation. Mendel handed them the mandate of handling all catering for the hotel, which is especially busy with meetings, conventions and social occasions. Outside groups are brought in, though, for kosher functions. 

The Ruby Foo's property began life in 1946 as an ice cream stand and eventually grew into a wildly popular 9,000 square foot restaurant which became world famous for its Chinese cuisine. There was also a 118 room motel attached.

By 1982, though, the restaurant had lost its lustre and closed.  Mendel and his partners stepped up and purchased  the property. In 1984 they converted the motel into a 198 room two storey hotel, constructed the office building next door and brought a restaurant back in the Atlantic Pavillion. That was later replaced by Tulipe Noire, Mahjongg and now Eggspectation. 

"In Eggspectation we have partnered with a highly successful operation," Mendel says.

Renda says that Eggspectation is known for the high quality of its products. "We use real maple syrup, not table syrup," he says. "We use mega eggs as well.  Our French toast is made with real French brioche bread.The fact is if I do not have quality food then I do not put it on the table."

There are actually more than 100 plus items on the Eggspectation menu, which you can see here. This place is a lot more than just breakfast.

Monday 23 June 2014

Aalia Adam to get some experience doing Global TV morning weather

Aalia Adam has been attending "the school" of Global Television in Montreal since she was 17 years old.

"I started doing work with Global when I was attending Champlain College and I never really left," the now 24 year old reporter told me today as she shadowed the dynamic Jessica Laventure during a  Global Montreal Morning News broadcast.

Laventure, of  course, is the extraordinarily talented weather person on Global. But she does a lot more, including regular live reports from different events and activities and  of course her animal awareness features. As she prepares for some well deserved time off, Adam has been tapped to be her replacement for the next two weeks.  Over the course of the summer, Laventure will fill in for the dapper Richard Dagenais  at the news desk providing Adam with another four weeks of forecasts.

Jessica Laventure gets set to hand over the microphone to Aalia Adam.
"I am excited," said Adam, who has already been waking up at 3 a.m. and heading to the office as part of her training. "I am watching every weather forecaster I can, starting with Jessica, to pick up the lingo. Jess has started my training from zero and she is a great teacher. For instance, one of the tricks I have learned to really waking yourself up is to turn the music on in your car and sing really loud."

 Sign up for Aalia's fan page on Facebook:

Adam will initially get her feet wet in the studio, but she hopes to go on location at some point this summer.